In the Fifty-third edition of “Legends of the Game” we look at the career on and off the field of player, coach, and film-maker, Brent Coye.
About twenty years ago, Mr. Coye, a successful lacrosse player and coach, had the idea of putting out a lacrosse film by lacrosse players for lacrosse players…
“ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE”
It was well received, sold well…but was just before the internet explosion.
Finally, we are paying homage to Indigenous people, giving them the credit they deserve for showing us the Creator’s game. This film has a section dedicated to the Creator’s game. Oren Lyons is narrating as well as explaining culture and tradition.
It was a film well ahead of it’s time!
Brent wants to resurrect and re-release the video! This film has some of the greatest to ever play, and coach the game. Great angled shots, with exceptional information and entertainment make this a relevant and MUST HAVE video to any lacrosse persons collection!
Here are two articles from around the year 2000 explaining Brent, his video, and his thought process behind it.
The first article is from Will Springstead of www.saratogian.com from April 10, 2000
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Brent Coye has been involved in lacrosse, as either a player or coach, since he was a small boy. But the 27-year-old recently found a new way to make a living in the sport he loves. Coye, a 1991 Saratoga Springs High School graduate, recently started a video production company called Under The Helmet Productions and made his first video, an introduction to the sport of lacrosse entitled, “Only The Strong Survive.” The 32-minute video features interviews with such well-known lacrosse personalities as Team USA players Tim Soudan and Charlie Lockwood, former Cornell University coach Richie Moran and Herkimer County Community College coach Paul Wehrum. Coye, a member of Nazareth College’s 1992 national championship team and coach of the Hudson Valley Community College men’s lacrosse team, also appears on the video. Originally, Coye did not want to be a video producer, but was moved to do so when his roommate, trying to learn about the sport, bought an instructional video. “I watched it and it was horrible,” recalled Coye, a 1996 Nazareth graduate. “I had been working at a consulting company and decided that I don’t like working my tail off to make other people rich, anyway, and I had all this experience in lacrosse, so why not make a video.” Coye called his friends, Soudan and Lockwood, to ask if they would be interested in helping him with the video. They responded favorably and Coye was on his way. “Tim is the senior statesman on Team USA and in the pro lacrosse ranks, so once I brought him on board, it gave the video a lot of credibility,” said Coye, who took out a $30,000 loan from his parents for productions costs. The video combines quick sound bites from the many players and coaches about the positions and nature of the game, as well as a nice segment at the end about the sport’s history, with some graphics and lots of highlights of everything from high school games to Team USA games. Coye, who plays in the professional box lacrosse Iroquois League, was permitted by the Iroquois Nation to film their games. He also filmed some high school games. The college and Team USA game highlights had to be purchased. In all, Coye said the mix of filming to purchasing was about 50-50. The result is an enjoyable video for all, but Coye said he thinks he could do even better the next time. And there will be a next time. “I made a ton of first-time mistakes in the editing room, but let me add that I had a first-class editor,” Coye said. “The vision I have in my head still hasn’t been put on tape yet. “The tapes for lacrosse out there now are either outdated instructional tapes or highlights. I’d like to do something different and I’m already in the midst of shooting another one,” Coye added. Coye said he won’t restrict his company to just lacrosse. He has already been approached by people interested in making videos on snowboarding, skateboarding, equestrian and horse racing. But it isn’t that simple, either. “Overhead is my biggest stumbling block, but Walton’s Sporting Goods recently started carrying my lacrosse video, so hopefully that will sell and we’ll get a little more cash. Plus, some other people are hoping to get some money to put toward those videos they want made,” Coye said. On top of his videos, Coye recently received an invitation to try out for the New York Saints of the National Lacrosse League as a short-stick player. If he is lucky enough to make the team, that will segue into his time with HVCC and the Iroquois League. And all the while, there will be the videos. It’s enough to make one’s head spin, but Coye keeps it all in perspective. “I’ve only got two or three years left to play if I’m lucky,” Coye said. “I love lacrosse and I’ve been fortunate enough to make a living from it.”
The second article is by Josh Blumenthal of Inside Lacrosse from around the same time…
When it comes to the sport of lacrosse, many people play and catch it. However there are a select few who dedicate their lives around the sport they love for the betterment of the game. One of these people is Brent Coye, a former national championship winner for Nazareth College in 1992. Coye not only plays and coaches the game he loves, but has also done something that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Coye has developed his own sports production company, “Under the Helimet” (UTH), that specializes in making lacrosse videos. In just over a year he has been able to successfully complete one feature video, “Only the Strong Survive,” start a lacrosse website for fans (Under-The-Helmet.com) and begin working on a second video in the UTH series.
While most lacrosse films in the past have been made by video executives, who may not have necessarily known what true lacrosse fans look for, Coye has prided himself on the fact that as a player and coach he knows what to put and more importantly what not to put in his videos.
His first film features an in-depth look at the minds of lacrosse players and coaches from all over the world. He uses clips from all facets of the game, including the National Lacrosse League (NLL), United States Club Lacrosse Association (USCLA) and collegiate games. In this 30 minute film, viewers will be taken through the mindsets of some of the all-time best players and coaches from the game. Coye, who searched long and hard to find the right players, was able to pull in a number of stars, which include a true ambassador of the sport Paul Gait, national championship and MLL goalie Billy Daye and four time Australian World team member and NLL face-off specialist Gordon Purdie. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Segments such as indoor lacrosse aggression and Native American style of lacrosse, are among some of the many segments that draw people’s attention to the video. Because his inaugural video was a huge success with the lacrosse world, Coye has ventured into the creation of a second video. The second video will once again have the brightest and most recognizable stars in the game today headlining the tape, a feat which no other video on the market can say.
We recently caught up with Coye at an NLL training camp to discuss his past success in “Only the Strong Survive,” his website and his latest video venture.
How did you get into the sport of lacrosse?
BC: I started playing in the eighth grade when my dad told me that baseball sign-ups were over so he said, Why don’t you try lacrosse,’ as he was a teacher with the freshman lacrosse coach.
What inspired you to make a lacrosse video?
BC: I saw a horrible video that has been selling for a long time – a highlight video that was shot on a camcorder and had really bad editing and bad music. My buddy showed it to me one day and I was amazed that he would pay what he paid for it. It was just so poorly done that I thought I could and should do something better. I wanted to make the video I always wanted to buy when I was 15 years old.
What sets “Only the Strong Survive” video apart from all the rest?
BC: I think what sets mine apart is one, the special effects and sound effects. This video came in at just over $40,000 to make when you factor in everything like editing, production. etc. I know for a fact that none of the videos out there now are that expensive plus I think what makes it different and what I take pride in is that most of the lacrosse is from 5 to 10 years ago, when a lot of the game’s best players played. I wanted the young kids today to see that all the stuff you see with Powell or John Grant do, guys like the Gaits and Marechek basically brought to the forefront in the college and pro game.
How has the overall response been?
BC: The overall response has been good, but when you’re selling these tapes for roughly 20 bucks you need to have a tremendous response to make back $40,000. I think the new pro league hurt my sales, too. My tape came out right before they launched last year’s Summer Showcase and the advertising blitz they went on kind of a overshadowed the release of the tape.
What is your favorite part of the video?
BC: My favorite parts are the box segments and the Creators game segment.
What will your newest video be all about?
BC: Well the next video will be on either box lacrosse or positions. This tape will be instructional with lots of highlights and action interviews wedged around the instruction.
What new features can we expect to see?
BC: Well now that I am not a novice film maker anymore look for the next one to be much sharper and cleaner with regard to shots and interviews. Plus I think there will be more box lacrosse.
Will the footage include the MLL and NLL?
BC: It will include NLL footage. They were great to me regarding the production of the first one, the teams and the league were all first class about helping me.
What is your hope in producing these videos ?
BC: Well my hope is to have these videos for our sport just like the NBA, NFL or soccer has. All the kids who play those other sports have an abundance of videos to choose from. Our sport has a bunch of old, albeit good, outdated, training videos or highlight videos that really were not put together by lacrosse people. You’ll see a tape that, I know now from having been in the editing room, was not done by anybody who played or knew anything about lacrosse. It was probably sports-oriented editors who worked for the post production house making the tape.
Can you please talk a little bit about your impressive website?
BC: Well the website is there to of course order the videos and also the new posters and t-shirts we have, but also as a forum for fans. That’s why we have the “Ask the Helmet’ segment.
What is the “Ask the Helmet” section all about?
BC: “Ask the Helmet” is there because I think too many people don’t have enough guts to say stuff about lacrosse that they would say behind closed doors, because they don’t want to come across as negative or as against lacrosse. Some things in this sport should not be allowed to take place and all you need is somebody to speak up. That’s why I hired the guy to write it. He puts columns up that sometimes I do not agree with. But guess what, that’s why I hired him. I think it’s bad for lacrosse to not rock the boat. We had a column about the college shot clock where we ripped the committee, that I loved. We also had one on (MLL Director) Gabby Roe getting fired that I was a bit standoffish about, but who cares? It was supposed to spark debate.